00:00:08 ◼ ► From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 330. Today's show is brought to you by ExpressVPN, Bombus, and MailRoute.
00:00:18 ◼ ► My name is Myke Hurley, and I have the pleasure, as always, of being joined by Jason Snell. Hi, Jason Snell!
00:01:00 ◼ ► In school, I was always Jason S. And for about nine months, one year, I guess one grade, most of one grade,
00:01:24 ◼ ► And I've always been concerned about what may have happened to those individuals and their mental
00:01:39 ◼ ► That never happened during our school time. And I actually remained friends of Little Amy
00:01:48 ◼ ► Always little. Okay. Because you hear those stories about there's a basketball player named Tiny.
00:02:00 ◼ ► He was a big guy. Well, sometimes it's ironic, sometimes it's not. Sometimes it was like...
00:02:08 ◼ ► Yeah. We had the kid who was always the tallest kid in my elementary school. And by the time we
00:02:13 ◼ ► got to high school, I remember seeing him around because we fed five elementary schools into that
00:02:17 ◼ ► high school. So you didn't see most of the people you went to elementary school. And I would see him
00:02:20 ◼ ► occasionally and I'd be like, "Oh, he's just like a guy. He's just like an average height guy."
00:02:24 ◼ ► And he just happened to be a little taller earlier on the growth chart in elementary school. And so
00:02:29 ◼ ► he was the tall guy. He was not the tall guy. He was not tall. He was just normal height.
00:02:34 ◼ ► So if he had gotten a name, if he had been Big Aaron, we would have gone to school and be like,
00:02:46 ◼ ► So I did, as a Jason, I did get called Snell a lot by some people because it was a way to
00:02:52 ◼ ► correctly differentiate me from all the many other Jasons that were out there. I don't love it. I got
00:02:58 ◼ ► to say, I don't love it, but I understand it and I've come to accept it. It's not my preference
00:03:18 ◼ ► but I tend to only do it when I need to differentiate people. So I refer to Gruber a lot
00:03:31 ◼ ► Gruber and Syracuse, exactly. Because not only are they Gruber and Syracuse on Twitter,
00:03:52 ◼ ► He's a man who needs some introduction, so you use both names. One day he hopes to just be Voorhees.
00:04:03 ◼ ► So let me give you a secret. I probably shouldn't say this on the show, but I'm going to do it
00:04:09 ◼ ► anyway. I've always wanted to be just referred to as Myke on podcasts, and everyone knows who that
00:04:16 ◼ ► is. Because you hear that, right? You just say the name. But people tend to refer to me as Myke
00:04:37 ◼ ► One of the reasons, it's actually the main reasons why my name has a Y in it is because of how common
00:04:44 ◼ ► Myke and Michael was in my age group. So I went with the Y just purely to differentiate myself
00:05:22 ◼ ► very clearly, we will take questions about anything. So whatever it is you want to send
00:05:32 ◼ ► timeframe again, like we were last week. iOS 14.3 is launching today along with Fitness Plus.
00:05:39 ◼ ► As of recording, we don't have access to any of that stuff. So we'll maybe be touching in
00:05:46 ◼ ► on it again over the coming weeks. I am very intrigued to try out Fitness Plus. Are you, Jason?
00:05:53 ◼ ► I am. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Since I'm an Apple One subscriber, I get it.
00:05:59 ◼ ► Although my primary exercise is running, which is not covered in this. I don't have a treadmill or
00:06:05 ◼ ► anything. I actually run outside. But I do have a stationary bike and I do have a TV in a living
00:06:10 ◼ ► room where I could do whatever they're kind of like flat yoga or whatever it is that you just
00:06:15 ◼ ► kind of move your body around. I could try that stuff too, although as you can see from the
00:06:23 ◼ ► to start at the introductory stage. So maybe I'll just hop on the stationary bike and try that out.
00:06:28 ◼ ► Yeah. I'm really keen to try out the beginners thing and also the yoga. So I will be following
00:06:42 ◼ ► had shared with Apple employees talking about their kind of return to work plans or lack of.
00:06:51 ◼ ► So basically it's at the moment that Apple is stating that it seems likely that most employees
00:06:57 ◼ ► will be working at home until at least June of 2021. And an additional quote that I found
00:07:03 ◼ ► interesting from this memo, "There's no replacement for face-to-face collaboration." This is from Tim.
00:07:08 ◼ ► But we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office
00:07:14 ◼ ► without sacrificing productivity or results. All of these learnings are important. When we're on
00:07:19 ◼ ► the other side of this pandemic, we will preserve everything that is great about Apple while
00:07:22 ◼ ► incorporating the best of our transformations this year. I think, reading between the lines,
00:07:28 ◼ ► I think it's pretty clear that Apple want their people to be in their buildings and sometimes they
00:07:35 ◼ ► have to be, but it seems like there might be a bit more flexibility on that than there was before.
00:07:40 ◼ ► Yeah, it's again, they have built large campuses and invested a lot of money in them. So I think
00:07:49 ◼ ► that these corporate culture things die hard, but I do like that at least there's a little bit of lip
00:07:56 ◼ ► service being paid to the idea of preserving everything that is great about Apple while
00:08:01 ◼ ► incorporating the best of our transformations. Honestly, "There's no replacement for face-to-face
00:08:06 ◼ ► collaboration" is the part that gets me because there is. There's a lot. There's a lot. And
00:08:13 ◼ ► some face collaboration is great. But there is, I mean, it depends on what he means by this. This is
00:08:21 ◼ ► just a statement. It's a corporate memo from the CEO. I get it. But I'm a big believer in the fact
00:08:28 ◼ ► that you should hire the best people wherever you can hire them. And a lot of them aren't going to
00:08:32 ◼ ► be in the Silicon Valley and then spend the money that you would have spent on enormous rent or
00:08:37 ◼ ► whatever your costs are for facilities, on smaller facilities. And then also, once people are able to
00:08:44 ◼ ► travel again, have in-person meetings and things like that, where people can get to know each other,
00:08:50 ◼ ► get to know the people that they're collaborating with. And I also know some jobs you have to be
00:08:54 ◼ ► there. And that's fine. But we'll see. I remain skeptical. I think that this is going to give
00:08:59 ◼ ► some people inside Apple some ammunition to find ways to hire people who are great, who are not
00:09:06 ◼ ► in the office. But I also think that managers who just don't want to do that will probably be
00:09:15 ◼ ► allowed to continue with that policy. And that's that silly thing of like, you're doing a thing
00:09:20 ◼ ► that's entirely typing words into a screen, but you have to sit at a desk in Cupertino.
00:09:25 ◼ ► Doesn't make sense. No. Apparently, this is from the Bloomberg report, to get around some restrictions
00:09:32 ◼ ► on travel, Apple employees have been controlling robots from their homes using iPads to inspect
00:09:38 ◼ ► manufacturing production overseas. They've had these little telepresence robot-type things.
00:09:43 ◼ ► It's just funny, right? That's the way that they've done it. And apparently been using AR somehow.
00:09:52 ◼ ► I know I'm not like guffawing right now, because it's one of those jokes that just like
00:10:01 ◼ ► caught me off guard. That is absolutely fantastic. And you deserve all of the credit for that one.
00:10:07 ◼ ► Bravo. Chance Miller from UntoFiveMac pointed this out on Twitter. It's just like a good thing.
00:10:29 ◼ ► We're gonna do nothing and then we're all getting together. No, it's not happening. I've been
00:10:39 ◼ ► It's not happening. Apple announced WWDC in March or April. How could anyone expect that we would be
00:10:50 ◼ ► different enough? And I know that the vaccine is starting to roll out, but come on. It's gonna be
00:10:57 ◼ ► way into 2021 before we're vaccinated at the level that people could get together in these
00:11:03 ◼ ► kinds of numbers. Like I said before, no matter what happens in 2021, what company would want to
00:11:11 ◼ ► be on the line for 5,000 people or more getting together? Legally, from a legal standpoint.
00:11:18 ◼ ► You don't want to be in that mess. Hopefully, 2022, maybe. 2020's WWDC went really great.
00:11:26 ◼ ► If 2021 goes even better, I don't know. I don't know if it will come back. I really don't.
00:11:33 ◼ ► I can't say for sure now. I think it is convenient for them, in a way, to have this be so clearly not
00:11:40 ◼ ► ready in person. It allows Apple to refine what they've done, which by all accounts was pretty
00:11:48 ◼ ► great, right? Everybody seems to have been pretty happy with it. So it lets them kick the can down
00:11:55 ◼ ► the road a year, do another online event this summer. Sorry, next summer. This coming summer.
00:12:02 ◼ ► I don't know. It's almost 2021, but it's not quite yet. And then figure out what they want to do,
00:12:15 ◼ ► people who really want them to bring back classic WWDC, this is a bad sign because it allows
00:12:23 ◼ ► everybody another year to get used to not having it. At the same time, I want to reference this
00:12:30 ◼ ► memo that Tim Cook sent out where he said there's no replacement for face-to-face collaboration.
00:12:35 ◼ ► So maybe. Yeah. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know. Definitely not 2021, 2022. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
00:12:49 ◼ ► Next week, we're going to be doing the Upgrade Holiday Special. We have a couple of things
00:12:59 ◼ ► and we would encourage you all to watch, a Charlie Brown Christmas Special for Mic at the Movies.
00:13:05 ◼ ► It's available on Apple TV+. This is one of the rare, very rare movies that we have done for this
00:13:12 ◼ ► series, especially the holiday ones, which is easy for everyone to get it. So in many...
00:13:18 ◼ ► If you have Apple TV+, it's there. It's 25 minutes long. It is not a movie. It is a half-hour
00:13:23 ◼ ► television special from the '70s. And yes, everybody, Myke hadn't seen it. I haven't seen it
00:13:31 ◼ ► because I'm not an American. And I think Charlie Brown is not exclusively, but seems like a very
00:13:47 ◼ ► We will be talking about it next week. We would also like to do an extended Ask Upgrade for next
00:13:53 ◼ ► week. We want to do a regular Ask Upgrade, but also a holiday-themed Ask Upgrade. So please,
00:14:00 ◼ ► if you have any holiday-related questions, send them in to us by tweeting with the hashtag
00:14:05 ◼ ► #AskUpgrade or using question mark #AskUpgrade in the Real AFM members Discord. Just ask us some
00:14:10 ◼ ► holiday-themed stuff. It could be about technology. It could be about anything, but we would really
00:14:15 ◼ ► love to see what you have to say. And then while we're talking about scheduling, then the week
00:14:21 ◼ ► after, we will be doing the seventh annual upgrade-ies. So I would say we will close voting
00:14:28 ◼ ► at some point next week. We will announce on next week's episode when exactly that's going to happen.
00:14:34 ◼ ► If I was going to pick a day out of the air, which honestly is all I'll be doing anyway,
00:14:39 ◼ ► probably be midweek next week, we will close voting. I will announce the date next Monday.
00:14:46 ◼ ► But you want to go to upgradees.vote and get your votes in, your nominations in for the 2020
00:14:55 ◼ ► upgrade-ies, the seventh annual upgrade-ies. You want to get those in ASAP, please. And thank you
00:15:02 ◼ ► to everybody who has done so, so far. We've had many, many, many, many hundreds of votes. So please
00:15:07 ◼ ► get those in for our upgrade-ies special. All right, this episode is brought to you in part
00:15:13 ◼ ► by ExpressVPN. The sad truth is that our data isn't always as safe as we would want it to be,
00:15:19 ◼ ► because no matter who you are or what sites you're using, there's so many attacks and data leaks and
00:15:24 ◼ ► all that kind of stuff. This stuff is worryingly common. You don't want your credit card information,
00:15:32 ◼ ► especially when, according to reports, your data could be worth tons of money to people on the
00:15:38 ◼ ► darker parts of the internet. You're already busy. You don't want to have to worry about hackers and
00:15:42 ◼ ► scammers while you're using your devices. Neither do I. Who does? So use ExpressVPN like I do.
00:15:48 ◼ ► ExpressVPN is an app that funnels your data through secure encrypted tunnels, so no matter
00:15:53 ◼ ► what device you use, you can have peace of mind every time you use the internet. The app connects
00:15:59 ◼ ► with just one click and it's lightning fast. And the very best part is that ExpressVPN works on up
00:16:05 ◼ ► to five devices simultaneously. So you and your whole family can stay protected as well. And I
00:16:10 ◼ ► love that it's so easy to get on everybody's devices. Everyone can fire up when they need to.
00:16:19 ◼ ► Like on my Mac, it just lives in the menu bar. I click it, I click connected and it's done. It's
00:16:24 ◼ ► super fast. I can connect to other locations if I want to. I can watch HD video. It's so,
00:16:40 ◼ ► expressvpn.com/upgrade right now, you can arm yourself of an extra three months of ExpressVPN
00:16:46 ◼ ► for free. That is expressvpn.com/upgrade. So go to expressvpn.com/upgrade right now to learn more.
00:17:00 ◼ ► So we have just an obscene amount of upstream stuff to talk about today. We have Disney stuff.
00:17:09 ◼ ► We have Apple stuff. There's been reports. There's been basically comic cons happening.
00:17:19 ◼ ► that there has been... So people, you know, we were talking about HBO Max last week, right?
00:17:25 ◼ ► And, you know, everyone's really excited about all of the movies that are coming to HBO Max,
00:17:30 ◼ ► except the creators of these properties. So there has been, I think it started with Christopher
00:17:38 ◼ ► Nolan. Nolan was kind of like, he broke the dam on this and was really upset about HBO Max.
00:17:46 ◼ ► He said something like, "I went to bed with a creative partnership with the greatest movie studio
00:17:51 ◼ ► ever and woke up with a movie on the world's worst streaming service," which is very hyperbolic
00:17:57 ◼ ► because I'm not sure Warner Brothers is the greatest movie studio ever. And I'm definitely
00:18:07 ◼ ► Whilst he is being hyperbolic, I see what he's saying. And the reason is I can kind of get what
00:18:14 ◼ ► he's saying is that I was reading some stuff about this in other reports that nobody knew this was
00:18:21 ◼ ► going to happen. None of the directors, none of the actors, none of the agents, nobody.
00:18:26 ◼ ► HBO or Warner made this decision and did it. And one of the things that has been even more
00:18:33 ◼ ► upsetting to some creators is this was not the case with Wonder Woman. With Wonder Woman,
00:18:37 ◼ ► everyone was involved. Gal Gadot got to make a deal with Warner to say, "This is how much
00:18:47 ◼ ► - Right. Because there are certain people who get a portion of money for each point along the gross,
00:18:54 ◼ ► which is where the real money is because profits, movies can be accounted to not make a profit. But
00:19:00 ◼ ► there's the gross, which is, you know, it did a billion in box office and you'll get a certain
00:19:05 ◼ ► percentage of the first hundred thousand. And if you're like the director or maybe a producer,
00:19:09 ◼ ► but if you're like the director and the star, you make deals where you don't get paid as much
00:19:14 ◼ ► upfront, but you get a piece. This is why Robert Downey Jr. has all the money, right? Because he
00:19:19 ◼ ► ended up being in all of these Marvel movies that made an enormous amount of money. And because he
00:19:24 ◼ ► was there at the beginning and made a good deal, he got paid out of the enormity. Like, if this
00:19:30 ◼ ► movie is a billion dollar movie, you're going to make a lot of money. If it's a hundred million
00:19:33 ◼ ► dollar movie, you're not. - Everyone was taking a gamble then. They took a gamble on Downey,
00:19:37 ◼ ► Downey took a gamble on them. So he obviously got a good deal and then just made this, like,
00:19:46 ◼ ► she's a star. Wonder Woman did really well. Undoubtedly, her deal includes participation in
00:19:53 ◼ ► box office that no longer exists. And there are other people who have that, whether it's
00:20:03 ◼ ► there, this changes what it, how the pay, the pay, you negotiated your pay based on an assumption
00:20:11 ◼ ► that this movie was going to be in theaters and now it's not. And, and although they negotiated
00:20:15 ◼ ► that for Wonder Woman, they, they seem to have not done anything about these movies that are coming
00:20:19 ◼ ► out in 2021. And people are up in arms about it for good reasons. Now, Christopher Nolan
00:20:25 ◼ ► is one of these people. He's not, I'm not a big fan of Christopher Nolan. I'm not really a fan of
00:20:31 ◼ ► most of his movies. I think he's made some good movies, but I don't, I think he's made some
00:20:34 ◼ ► over-hyped and not very good movies too. But he's also the kind of guy who's like, well,
00:20:51 ◼ ► - Yeah. Cause it did, did, did great. So, so he's, he's got some other access to grind about the,
00:20:57 ◼ ► the glory and the, and the mythology of being in a movie theater instead of watching it on streaming.
00:21:03 ◼ ► And I have very little patience for people like that. I think people should watch movies in the
00:21:07 ◼ ► theater because they want to go to a movie theater, not because of they're being forced to
00:21:12 ◼ ► buy exclusivity arrangements because Christopher Nolan knows what's good for them. So I'm going to
00:21:23 ◼ ► I understand what he's getting at in that sense of like, we all thought we knew what was going on
00:21:30 ◼ ► - And now you've decided and consulted none of us that you're changing the entire model.
00:21:37 ◼ ► And we all purposely did not do deals with Netflix. And now you've just put us in that situation.
00:21:55 ◼ ► we would be in a very, it would be like incredibly different to now, right? Like you think people
00:22:11 ◼ ► as a way to make it happen now, like instead of incrementally to make it happen now. Now, I will
00:22:16 ◼ ► say they all got warned like an hour before they made the announcement and they're all outraged
00:22:21 ◼ ► about that. And I get it. I also get that the moment that if, if they went to everybody and
00:22:27 ◼ ► said, here's what we're planning, you know what would happen, right? It would be in Variety and
00:22:32 ◼ ► The Hollywood Reporter immediately. - Yes. - And they begin negotiating in the press for a better
00:22:39 ◼ ► - Yeah. I get why they didn't do it. But, um, I think it is a fair point that the challenge here
00:22:44 ◼ ► is what is fair in terms of compensating the people who had their compensation originally
00:22:50 ◼ ► tied to a theatrical release? What is fair for them? Because they're not going to get a
00:22:56 ◼ ► theatrical release now. So what happens? Um, at the high level, you've got creative types
00:23:01 ◼ ► like Christopher Nolan, who it's, I would argue it is still about the money, but it's not just
00:23:06 ◼ ► about the money. It's also about the prestige. Anyway, it's about the Batman Begins. No, it's
00:23:14 ◼ ► about the prestige of being in a, getting a big movie release and feeling good about it. And so
00:23:19 ◼ ► when you see people like Denis Villeneuve, who did Dune, um, say, you know, you know, I don't even
00:23:26 ◼ ► know if I want to make the other Dune movie now. Like that's not great because they want that to
00:23:31 ◼ ► be a two-movie franchise for them. And, uh, there are relationship issues, right? There, there are
00:23:36 ◼ ► relationship issues with high-profile creators that are, uh, that are now more difficult. There,
00:23:44 ◼ ► there are more issues there because there's a lack of trust going on here. And that was,
00:23:49 ◼ ► that was a problem with this. But I also see the other side, which is they could have approached
00:23:54 ◼ ► everybody in advance and we'd be basically where we are now, which is how dare they suggest that we
00:24:00 ◼ ► do this. We're not going to do that. Right. And I'm pretty sure that, uh, Warner has, Warner's
00:24:06 ◼ ► lawyers have looked at this and say, well, can we do this? And the answer is yes. Um, that doesn't
00:24:12 ◼ ► mean they should do it. And, and I get why they might have chosen this technique, but it's going
00:24:17 ◼ ► to be damage control for them now with all of their partners. And the big challenge is that
00:24:22 ◼ ► Hollywood has no credibility when it comes to money and working with their people like box
00:24:28 ◼ ► office results are pretty out in the open. And so if you peg your payment based on box office
00:24:33 ◼ ► results, you, you will get paid in a way that you won't if it's almost any other metric because they
00:24:39 ◼ ► can fudge all of that in the accounting. And so instead what, what they did with wonder woman is
00:24:44 ◼ ► they sold wonder woman from Warner to, they sold this, this rights window to HBO max. So it was an
00:24:52 ◼ ► internal sale of the rights and that's money that's being used to pay the residuals to the
00:25:00 ◼ ► people who worked on the movie. The problem with that is it wasn't an auction. It wasn't an open
00:25:04 ◼ ► negotiation. The only bidder was Warner itself. And this has come up time and again, where, uh,
00:25:13 ◼ ► uh, like, uh, what was it? Friends, I think is an example of this, where the argument was that
00:25:18 ◼ ► friends was owned by Warner and, uh, got syndicated on TBS, which was owned by Warner and the people
00:25:29 ◼ ► involved in friends all have residual payments based on syndication sales. And I think there
00:25:36 ◼ ► was a lawsuit about this and there've been many lawsuits, many, so many lawsuits in this area,
00:25:41 ◼ ► because the idea is it's, it's self-dealing. They are, um, they are not putting it out in the open
00:25:47 ◼ ► market. It's an artificial value in the property potentially. Exactly. Exactly. Like if, if they
00:25:52 ◼ ► had made that available on the open market, somebody might've bid three times as much for
00:25:57 ◼ ► Netflix would have paid more for wonder woman and HBO paid themselves for wonder woman.
00:26:02 ◼ ► Yeah. Possibly. Or at the very least Netflix would have been able to, you know, run up the price and
00:26:09 ◼ ► say, well, we would pay this for it. And, and Warner would then have to pay that to itself,
00:26:13 ◼ ► which I get is play money, but it would mean that the percentage of that would go to people.
00:26:19 ◼ ► And that's real money. And so, so there is a like Hollywood studios are unfair to those people. Like
00:26:26 ◼ ► there's no doubt about, they have no credibility to say, no, we'll take care of you. It's going
00:26:29 ◼ ► to be okay. And I know that Jason Kyler, who is the CEO of Warner media now who worked at Hulu.
00:26:35 ◼ ► And I think is a very smart guy. And, and I would say no understands what the future of this
00:26:39 ◼ ► business is and is behaving like it. The problem with that is you've got to bring everybody else
00:26:47 ◼ ► along. You've got promises that you made that you're now not able to deliver because of the
00:26:51 ◼ ► pandemic. It's a difficult situation. Um, not being able to deliver because of the pandemic
00:26:58 ◼ ► is different from what HBO have decided to do. Right. Where it's like, there are these movie
00:27:07 ◼ ► studios and these movies that are just like up in the ether, like James Bond, right? Right. It's
00:27:13 ◼ ► like, look, we want to do what we all wanted to do. And we're going to wait until we can do that.
00:27:19 ◼ ► Where Warner have just been like NASCAR, it will just do this. I could argue that that is
00:27:26 ◼ ► all happening because of a deep sense of denial about how long the pandemic is going to affect
00:27:33 ◼ ► things. Right. So I could argue that what it, what Kyler did and what HBO did is what Disney's doing,
00:27:41 ◼ ► which we're going to get to shortly, what Disney's doing to a certain extent. Yeah, exactly.
00:27:45 ◼ ► Is clear-eyed in a way that, and logical in a way that saying, well, maybe Black Widow will open in
00:27:54 ◼ ► April is not, but people aren't always logical. And this is the thing is you are dealing, you're
00:28:03 ◼ ► in a business where you're dealing with very creative people. They are, they are full of
00:28:09 ◼ ► emotion about the projects they're working on. They have poured their selves into these projects.
00:28:14 ◼ ► They have infused them with their own self-worth and they have, have talked to their agents and
00:28:20 ◼ ► they've made deals based on a world that no longer exists. And while you can just say, well, that
00:28:25 ◼ ► world doesn't exist, so we're going to figure this out. You don't have any credibility if you're the
00:28:29 ◼ ► studio to actually be fair. So you're going to have to put up and you're really gonna have to
00:28:33 ◼ ► prove it, which a unilateral announcement does not do. And so I understand like, there's a lot of
00:28:41 ◼ ► repair work that they're going to have to do, even though, and this is actually, this is the story I
00:28:45 ◼ ► think of HBO Max and WarnerMedia in general in this period, which is I don't think they're making bad
00:28:51 ◼ ► decisions. I think they're executing them badly. And I think that some of the decisions are good
00:28:56 ◼ ► decisions that have very painful outcomes that they're going, that they probably could have done
00:29:01 ◼ ► too differently to an extent, but they were always going to cause pain because I think that they have
00:29:06 ◼ ► basically fully committed to the future. The challenge is we're in a transitory period and
00:29:11 ◼ ► they've decided to rip the band-aid off. And when we talk about Disney in a minute, Disney
00:29:15 ◼ ► is playing partially because Disney has more money, I think, is playing a more transitional game.
00:29:27 ◼ ► Yeah, Disney is doing, is executing and has been for a few years now, this transition plan where a
00:29:32 ◼ ► lot of the stuff that used to be movies is now going to be fueling TV, streaming TV production.
00:29:37 ◼ ► And it's like movies, but for TV. And they're still also going to do theatrical films. And that
00:29:43 ◼ ► that is leads to weird things like Black Widow is not coming out because it's going to be in the
00:29:46 ◼ ► theaters. And, you know, whereas Warner said, we're just going to forget that and we're just going to
00:29:51 ◼ ► put it on streaming. Disney is saying more like, no, no, no, a lot of that stuff we're going to keep.
00:29:55 ◼ ► And just before we get to Disney, I wanted to say the reason this is relevant to you as a viewer of
00:30:03 ◼ ► entertainment like this is what's the future of theatrical? Because if there is no future for
00:30:10 ◼ ► theatrical, or if there is a niche future for theatrical where it's also on streaming, or it's
00:30:19 ◼ ► only briefly theatrical, I think what you're going to see, and I think this is going to happen whether
00:30:27 ◼ ► anybody wants to do it or not. I think it's just going to be the future of theatrical releases.
00:30:30 ◼ ► They're not going to make as much money as they used to. And why that's relevant is if theatrical
00:30:35 ◼ ► releases aren't going to make as much money as they used to, studios aren't going to spend as
00:30:40 ◼ ► much money on them as they used to. Because that's the real issue here is you can make a Marvel movie
00:30:46 ◼ ► for TV. You're not going to spend the amount of money on it that you spent if you were going to
00:30:51 ◼ ► make a billion dollars in a movie theater. You're not. And so if I had to project out five years,
00:30:56 ◼ ► my guess would be there will be theatrical releases, but they might be smaller. They might
00:31:01 ◼ ► be cheaper because the theatrical market has drained a little bit. Whereas your streaming
00:31:07 ◼ ► stuff is going to be way bigger budget than TV used to be because it's more movie-like on premium
00:31:14 ◼ ► streaming. Yeah, there's this middle ground right now where you have TV and movies and then this
00:31:22 ◼ ► golden age of streaming is in the middle and it's more expensive. And so we're going to start
00:31:29 ◼ ► talking about Disney now, but just as a way to tie these things together, one of the things Bob
00:31:34 ◼ ► Iger was saying and the investor thing was saying that they are creating their shows that look like
00:31:43 ◼ ► movies. And some of the clips that they showed, they looked like scenes from Marvel movies,
00:31:48 ◼ ► but they were from TV shows. Now of course there's not going to be as many of them. Anybody who saw
00:31:51 ◼ ► The Mandalorian last week, I mean the whole season, but like last week's a good example,
00:32:01 ◼ ► "I cannot believe this is a TV show. This looks like a Star Wars movie." And that's sort of where
00:32:05 ◼ ► we are. And it's not, and they don't spend as much money on it, but they spend a lot of money on it.
00:32:09 ◼ ► And that may be the truth of it. And again, if you're a director or a star who is used to getting
00:32:16 ◼ ► participation in a movie that's going to make a billion dollars, it's got to bum you out a little
00:32:20 ◼ ► bit like that might dry up. And I think that explains some of the reaction to Warner. So
00:32:26 ◼ ► sorry for people who wanted a hot take about the Warner stuff, but the truth is I think they're
00:32:34 ◼ ► making some good tactical decisions and also made some bad human relationship decisions. And that
00:32:43 ◼ ► the people who are upset with them breaking the model are people who deserve to be paid.
00:32:49 ◼ ► And it feels a little bit like they're just not going to be paid right for this. And that's not
00:32:55 ◼ ► like I get, I can agree and be enthusiastic about moving those movies all onto HBO Max while also
00:33:03 ◼ ► recognizing that the people who made those movies deserve to get paid what they were promised.
00:33:11 ◼ ► in some instances, people that they make lots and lots and lots of money, millions, right? And
00:33:17 ◼ ► there's the question of like, "Oh, they have millions." So society has valued these people
00:33:27 ◼ ► people who are not glamorous, who are technical people, behind the scenes people, people you've
00:33:31 ◼ ► not ever heard of, and they're the ones who, this is how they bank their house payment.
00:33:37 ◼ ► than just the stars. And Nolan to his credit made that issue. He said, "Don't worry about me getting
00:33:42 ◼ ► paid. Worry about my camera man, my lighting supervisor, my set director. Worry about all
00:33:49 ◼ ► those people getting paid, not don't worry about me." And I think that's the truth of it is that
00:33:53 ◼ ► this isn't just boohoo rich actors. It's also all the people who you don't know of who are also
00:34:00 ◼ ► potentially getting the short end of the stick because of this business model change. But I'll
00:34:06 ◼ ► say that while also saying, I feel like this was kind of inevitable. And what I hope is that they,
00:34:12 ◼ ► the outcry that's happening now leads to those people getting paid fairly for funding. Let's
00:34:19 ◼ ► be honest, for funding Warner Media's attempt to build circulation revenue for HBO Max.
00:34:27 ◼ ► - Yep. So let's talk about Disney. So Disney had an investor announcement last week that
00:34:32 ◼ ► was basically part Comic-Con where they made a bunch of announcements and showed a bunch of
00:34:37 ◼ ► trailers. So we're gonna try, I'm gonna give a very high level to this because there is
00:34:42 ◼ ► literally too much stuff to talk about. So over the next few years on Disney+, we will be getting
00:34:48 ◼ ► 10 new Marvel series, 10 new Star Wars series, 15 Disney animation Pixar series, and 15 feature
00:34:58 ◼ ► movies from Disney, all to Disney+. Some highlights, there's a lot of stuff, they showed
00:35:05 ◼ ► a lot of trailers and gave more information about things we already know about. But some of the
00:35:10 ◼ ► things that were new, they're making a series based on the Alien franchise. - From Noah Hawley,
00:35:16 ◼ ► who did Fargo and Legion, which are both, I mean Legion got really weird really fast, but like,
00:35:23 ◼ ► he's really a smart guy and they put him in charge of this Alien TV series. - And this is coming to
00:35:29 ◼ ► Hulu or Star, so that Disney have finally given information about how the FX and Hulu stuff is
00:35:36 ◼ ► going to be international. They're creating a separate property called Star, which will become
00:35:41 ◼ ► part of Disney+, so it'll be like another tab. So that's where I will be able to watch this content.
00:35:47 ◼ ► And also very cleverly, in places where Disney need to provide a percentage of content in a language
00:35:56 ◼ ► or produced in an area, it will go on Star. - It will go on Star. And the idea here is this also
00:36:03 ◼ ► solves the rated R problem of Disney+, which is they're going to have you-- - Always Sunny in
00:36:09 ◼ ► Philadelphia is going to be on Star. So it's kind of funny, I will watch Always Sunny in Disney+.
00:36:14 ◼ ► - Yeah, but the way it works is that Disney+, the plus includes swearing, right? So you'll go in and
00:36:20 ◼ ► you'll say, "I am over 18," or whatever, or a parent or whatever, and I want to turn this on.
00:36:26 ◼ ► And then Star will be there and you'll be able to watch. And presumably that'll probably also
00:36:32 ◼ ► include like Hamilton with the F word in it and the Taylor Swift thing with the F words in it and
00:36:43 ◼ ► content will kind of be able to live in there. And so in the US we'll have Hulu, but they're using
00:36:49 ◼ ► Star, which I think started in India, but is a global brand. But what they're gonna try to do
00:36:55 ◼ ► is sort of like build it inside the Disney+ app. - The name is actually Hot Star in India,
00:36:58 ◼ ► is the name of the service. And they're keeping that Hot Star name in some territories,
00:37:09 ◼ ► so we knew about Obi-Wan with Ewan McGregor, but they announced that Hayden Christensen will be
00:37:23 ◼ ► so surprising type moves. It's like, I don't know if I'm gonna like this, but just because I'm so
00:37:30 ◼ ► surprised about it, I really like it. So that's gonna be really interesting. And also one of the
00:37:37 ◼ ► upcoming features, I believe this is an actual theatrical movie, is going to be Rogue Squadron,
00:37:44 ◼ ► directed by Patty Jenkins, who is the director of Wonder Woman. - Yeah, of the Wonder Woman movies.
00:37:54 ◼ ► and he is still, they mentioned him. - It seems like Disney's gonna start getting weird with
00:37:59 ◼ ► Star Wars, I think, which I'm kind of excited about. - I feel like maybe the Marvel influence
00:38:06 ◼ ► of like, you need to look at your mates over at Marvel and consider that. I wonder if the Taika
00:38:13 ◼ ► Waititi movie is the one that Kevin Feige is producing, by the way. I wonder, because there
00:38:17 ◼ ► was a rumor that Kevin Feige from Marvel was going to produce a Star Wars movie, and since
00:38:22 ◼ ► he's worked with Taika Waititi on Marvel movies, and he's directing a Marvel movie right now,
00:38:27 ◼ ► but I honestly don't know if that is not happening or is happening differently or whatever. But yeah,
00:38:32 ◼ ► so it's interesting because they've got their whole slate of Star Wars, including a bunch of
00:38:37 ◼ ► new Star Wars series that they announced. There were a lot of jokes there about so many Star Wars
00:38:43 ◼ ► minor characters given their own shows, including two Mandalorian spin-offs that'll be coming from
00:38:51 ◼ ► the people who do The Mandalorian, plus some other Star Wars shows that are not coming from the people
00:38:55 ◼ ► who do, and there are some more animated series on top of it. And we're about to talk to Marvel,
00:39:02 ◼ ► but just as a little sidebar, when we talk about CBS All Access, which is going to be Paramount
00:39:07 ◼ ► Plus pretty soon, we talk about they have Star Trek. And one of the things they're trying to do
00:39:11 ◼ ► with Star Trek is have it be that basically there's always a Star Trek show on. So if you
00:39:14 ◼ ► like Star Trek, you've got to keep subscribing to CBS All Access because there's always going to be
00:39:18 ◼ ► a Star Trek Discovery. It'll go off, and then Picard will come on, and then Strange New Worlds
00:39:23 ◼ ► will come on, and then Lower Decks will come on, and there's always a Star Trek show in season.
00:39:27 ◼ ► Clearly, Disney Plus' strategy, and we gave them a hard time about this, we have been for a while
00:39:33 ◼ ► now, this is phase two for them, and this is where they're like, there will always be Star Wars and
00:39:39 ◼ ► Marvel shows running on Disney Plus. You'll never be able to cancel it. There will be a new Star
00:39:43 ◼ ► Wars and/or Marvel show and probably a Pixar show on every week. They're basically turning it into
00:39:53 ◼ ► there's going to be new stuff on Disney Plus, and that is really impressive, especially when you,
00:40:04 ◼ ► buy comic book studios and stuff like that for a while now, is because this is how Disney Plus
00:40:10 ◼ ► potentially beats Netflix at its game, is with using franchise stuff to make their service
00:40:17 ◼ ► mandatory for fans. Now, obviously, you know, I've said this before, my heart is in Marvel.
00:40:23 ◼ ► Like, it's, you know, Marvel movies, they're my Star Wars, you know, like, really. I'm a fan of
00:40:28 ◼ ► Star Wars, definitely, but Marvel movies is what really hits for me, and they have some incredible
00:40:37 ◼ ► And Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the Skrull in Captain Marvel, they're the stars of that show.
00:40:50 ◼ ► - Ironheart, I've wondered what are they going to do for Iron Man? What are they going to do,
00:40:59 ◼ ► - Yeah. Yeah, in the comics, this was a very recent invention. This is Riri Williams is a
00:41:04 ◼ ► character who is a, she's a Black girl from Detroit, I want to say, and she invents Iron
00:41:11 ◼ ► Man armor, basically inspired by Tony Stark. She invents Iron Man armor. So you can see the
00:41:15 ◼ ► story here, which is basically like, you get to do the Iron Man thing, but it's a kid, so that's
00:41:21 ◼ ► kind of, it's like Spider-Man-y in that way. And those comics have been a lot of fun. So it's a fun
00:41:27 ◼ ► kind of furthering the Iron Man family. And in fact, in the comics, Riri Williams gets to know
00:41:35 ◼ ► Pepper Potts, and like, she's still integrated into kind of Iron Man's world while also having
00:41:40 ◼ ► her world, and that could be really interesting. There's also, already announced, there's a
00:41:46 ◼ ► Ms. Marvel series coming, which is another relatively new character, but they announced
00:41:52 ◼ ► this time, as a part of this, that that character is also going to appear in the next Captain Marvel
00:41:57 ◼ ► movie. And that's one of those moments where you're like, oh, like, let's be clear, this isn't just
00:42:03 ◼ ► movie characters getting their own shows, although it is that. It's also TV show characters using
00:42:09 ◼ ► that as a launch point to then appear in theatrical releases. So if you're expecting to like, hold a
00:42:15 ◼ ► firewall and be like, I'm not watching those Marvel TV shows, I'm just going to watch the movies,
00:42:19 ◼ ► that's fine. But those TV characters are going to be in the movies, because Disney wants you to have
00:42:25 ◼ ► it all, and buy it all, and watch it all. - It's like, you could jump in at any Marvel movie if you
00:42:30 ◼ ► want to, if you haven't seen the rest of them, but you're maybe not going to understand it all,
00:42:34 ◼ ► and that's the way it's going to be with the shows. Because they announced Captain Marvel 2,
00:42:41 ◼ ► and then stated that the actress playing Ms. Marvel is going to be in Captain Marvel 2. So
00:42:48 ◼ ► like, they're mixing them all around in a really, really great way. They spoke about making a
00:42:54 ◼ ► Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special for next year, which, super good. I'm into that.
00:43:02 ◼ ► - It's 2022. See, this is part of the Disney announcement, is they're announcing what they're
00:43:05 ◼ ► going to do for the next like three or four years. They want to really just sort of make it clear
00:43:10 ◼ ► that they have all of this stuff in production. But what I love about the Guardians of the Galaxy
00:43:15 ◼ ► holiday special story is, they're shooting Guardians of the Galaxy 3. And what they decided
00:43:23 ◼ ► to do while they've got the cast there is also do this Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special for
00:43:29 ◼ ► Disney Plus that is directed by James Gunn. And I think he wrote the script and he thinks it's,
00:43:33 ◼ ► so it's like a fun little thing that is going to be produced alongside the production of the movie,
00:43:39 ◼ ► using the same sets and characters and all of that. So they're basically creating like a second
00:43:44 ◼ ► little TV special alongside the movie. I think it's a really interesting approach that could be
00:43:51 ◼ ► replayed in other places, right? Like, it's not making it into a TV show, it's making it into a
00:43:57 ◼ ► theatrical feature with a special, which is another way to cut it, right? Not every movie needs to just
00:44:03 ◼ ► be a movie, not every TV show needs to just be a TV show. You might be able to find some way to kind
00:44:08 ◼ ► of like do a little bit of both. So that'll be an interesting experiment. - And the Fantastic Four
00:44:14 ◼ ► are going to be given another shot. - They're going to try. What if the, could the Fantastic Four
00:44:20 ◼ ► work if it was actually a Marvel movie instead of whatever they had before? We'll see. It's from the
00:44:26 ◼ ► director of Spider-Man Homecoming, John Watts. So that's good. But how you fit the Fantastic Four
00:44:33 ◼ ► in the MCU remains to be seen. They were, for people who aren't comic book nerds, the Fantastic
00:44:39 ◼ ► Four, and only know the Fantastic Four from all the bad movies that they've been in. Fantastic Four
00:44:43 ◼ ► was the original Marvel universe characters. That's where the Marvel universe, you know,
00:44:48 ◼ ► basically started is Stan Lee and Jack Kirby doing Fantastic Four. And then they added Spider-Man and
00:44:52 ◼ ► the Avengers and all that. So they are, in the comics, they are kind of Marvel's crown jewels in
00:44:59 ◼ ► a way, and yet have been owned by another studio and Marvel never got to integrate them into the
00:45:10 ◼ ► question about like, has, have the bad movies killed that franchise? To that I'd only say
00:45:16 ◼ ► Spider-Man, like coming back to John Watts, like Spider-Man franchise was pretty dead. And then
00:45:22 ◼ ► they made Spider-Man Homecoming and it was like, oh, it's in the MCU and it's a good movie. Yay.
00:45:27 ◼ ► So they could do that again. They could totally do that again. They're going to be doing a bunch
00:45:30 ◼ ► of Pixar related stuff, including some series, as we mentioned. But there's also just a movie
00:45:36 ◼ ► that I wanted to mention that I'm just so excited about because I love the premise so much. It's
00:45:39 ◼ ► called Lightyear and it's about the character that the Buzz Lightyear toy is made from.
00:45:46 ◼ ► Yes. So it is like, imagine the movie from which the toy was made, a genius idea. And it's, and
00:45:54 ◼ ► the Buzz Lightyear will be voiced by Chris Evans, which is just like, it's all so, it's just so good.
00:46:09 ◼ ► Like, this is so great. They are on it. So like, they want the, this is the, I said to you on Slack
00:46:17 ◼ ► earlier, like this is the Death Star basically being rolled out here. It is Disney saying,
00:46:23 ◼ ► we are spending a lot of money to do our whole franchises on Disney Plus, in addition to
00:46:29 ◼ ► theatrical, right? Like that's, we're going to do both and we're going to do all this stuff on
00:46:34 ◼ ► Disney Plus. And if you love these franchises, you will have new stuff from them coming into your
00:46:40 ◼ ► house every week. So you've got to keep paying us for Disney Plus, which they raised the price by
00:46:45 ◼ ► a dollar, by the way. So like that'll, that'll keep happening. But yeah, but you look at this
00:46:51 ◼ ► and you're like, oh, there's the value in originals. Like we were complaining that the catalog was
00:46:55 ◼ ► there, but where were the originals? And it's taken them some time to get to this point, but
00:46:59 ◼ ► starting next year, they're going to start rolling this thing out. And I think basically that's it
00:47:04 ◼ ► from that point on, it's going to just be rolling thunder of Disney content releases on Disney Plus.
00:47:09 ◼ ► - Yeah. Like it starts early next year and then the Marvel shows begin and the trailers they show
00:47:15 ◼ ► up at the Marvel shows all looked weird and wonderful in their own ways. Like this is the
00:47:19 ◼ ► Disney Plus that we wanted, right? Like definitely. This is what we, as you said, we were talking
00:47:24 ◼ ► about this, like it felt like they were kind of spinning their wheels a little bit. Julia Alexander
00:47:29 ◼ ► at Polygon wrote a really great piece about this calling what we have now the real Disney Plus.
00:47:34 ◼ ► - I read a couple of quotes from this. It's a great article. It's been in the show notes.
00:47:47 ◼ ► There will come a time when Disney has a new Star Wars or Marvel show seemingly every week,
00:47:51 ◼ ► and that powerful harnessing of lucrative sought after founder-lord brands should be terrifying to
00:47:57 ◼ ► competitors." And like this is it, right? Like this is the thing of like whether this was what
00:48:03 ◼ ► Bob Iger planned or whether it's just that all of the stars aligned and they ended up capitalizing
00:48:10 ◼ ► on it. It's like the last however many years, like 15, 20 years of Disney collecting all this IP
00:48:17 ◼ ► has gotten them to this point. The movies are great. Amazing. We love the movies, but what
00:48:23 ◼ ► about consistent continual revenue constantly plus merchandising plus theme parks plus cruise ships,
00:48:28 ◼ ► right? Like this is creating an absolute powerhouse. Like you thought Disney was powerful before.
00:48:45 ◼ ► - That's no move. No. Yeah, I think I mentioned Netflix earlier. Like I think this is gonna be
00:48:52 ◼ ► one of the long-term challenges. Cause I think Disney plus is going to be a serious challenger
00:48:56 ◼ ► for Netflix. Like that is, it is happening. They're going to be seriously close in worldwide
00:49:02 ◼ ► subscribers at some point this decade it's gonna happen. But long run is about the content, right?
00:49:08 ◼ ► And Disney plus like it's great that they're doing all this Marvel and Star Wars stuff,
00:49:13 ◼ ► but their challenge is gonna be what do they have that's original. And like again, within Marvel and
00:49:18 ◼ ► Star Wars, if you're doing it right, there is original content in there. Within the framework
00:49:24 ◼ ► of the franchise, you have the ability to do original content. It's something that you and
00:49:29 ◼ ► I have talked about before. I've talked about it on the incomparable a lot. Like Marvel movies have
00:49:35 ◼ ► worked over the long haul because they've allowed them to be in different genres and feel different.
00:49:43 ◼ ► They're not, I know there are people who are like only see Avengers movies who say they all
00:49:58 ◼ ► although Star Wars up to now has been largely, the movies have been largely the same. With
00:50:05 ◼ ► The Mandalorian, you see there's plenty of room and with the animated series too, honestly,
00:50:09 ◼ ► plenty of room to tell different kinds of stories if you just can't do it with the pressure of a
00:50:15 ◼ ► giant theatrical release. But on streaming, you can do that. So there is a framework with the
00:50:20 ◼ ► franchises to tell some different stories. But in the end, Disney is going to also need to do
00:50:27 ◼ ► original stuff, new stuff, things that people who are not deep into Marvel or Star Wars want to see.
00:50:34 ◼ ► And I would imagine if I'm a Disney executive, that's phase three, right? Phase two is get all
00:50:39 ◼ ► our franchises revved up and running. Phase three is more original intellectual property, the next
00:50:45 ◼ ► big franchise, whatever it might be. And that's why I mentioned Netflix making these deals with
00:50:51 ◼ ► comic book publishers and things like that and novelists and stuff. What are they doing there?
00:50:57 ◼ ► It's like, well, Netflix knows that its weakness is that it doesn't own the intellectual property
00:51:05 ◼ ► for big franchises. Everything on Netflix is kind of, I mean, not everything, most of what's on
00:51:11 ◼ ► Netflix is original stuff, which is great, but also a harder sell marketing wise. So I think
00:51:19 ◼ ► that's going to be an interesting dynamic this decade about like, does Netflix buy or find
00:51:26 ◼ ► something that is such a hit, such a breakthrough that instead of being three seasons and out,
00:51:33 ◼ ► it becomes, we're going to do a series of original movies and we're going to do spinoff TV series
00:51:39 ◼ ► that are going to drop on Netflix. I don't think they've reached that point yet, but I don't think
00:51:43 ◼ ► they've found that thing yet. But I do think they're looking for that just like Disney is
00:51:48 ◼ ► going to be looking to make sure that they're trying to find the next franchise. That's going
00:51:54 ◼ ► to be a really fun dynamic to watch. And then everybody else is like, hello, over here, Peacock?
00:52:01 ◼ ► Disney revised their guidance to investors. They previously said that by 2024 that they would hit
00:52:08 ◼ ► 90 million subscribers so that they could. They have now created a new projection that by 2024,
00:52:15 ◼ ► they will have 260 million subscribers, which is quite a significant jump just to state like,
00:52:22 ◼ ► I mean, this is now, but as of right now, Netflix has 200 million. So Disney feel pretty confident
00:52:29 ◼ ► that we all think of television as Netflix now, right? Like a lot of us, you know, especially
00:52:35 ◼ ► the younger generation, we just think of like streaming, like Netflix is a thing, like television
00:52:41 ◼ ► is a thing. It's not, and then there's all this other streaming stuff, but it's like, Netflix is
00:52:45 ◼ ► like the home. You go there to see what's there first. Disney think that's going to be them.
00:52:51 ◼ ► And that's very interesting. And you know what, if I could put money on it, I would bet they're
00:52:57 ◼ ► right. I think that stars have aligned and they've got it, they got it on lock. I think Disney+ is
00:53:05 ◼ ► going to be much bigger than I had originally estimated it would be for sure. And I don't think
00:53:13 ◼ ► it's because the pandemic has helped them in any way. Because the big growth they're going to see
00:53:20 ◼ ► is post pandemic. No, they, they, well, this is the funny thing is they feel like they don't need
00:53:34 ◼ ► streaming, right? Disney is like, nope. What Warner did was a stunt, right? It's a stunt.
00:53:38 ◼ ► And like I said, it was a stunt also, I think maybe a little injection of realism about the
00:53:45 ◼ ► 2021 box office and saying, why would we not just use this to fund our streaming service? There's
00:53:50 ◼ ► nothing else to do, but you can't, I mean, in the end, Disney is the one that wants to have it all
00:53:55 ◼ ► and probably will have it all. Let's be clear here, probably will have it all, which is they're
00:53:59 ◼ ► going to have this burgeoning streaming service and they're still going to own a large percentage
00:54:07 ◼ ► of whatever theatrical film market is out there. - Yeah, as you said before, if they don't even
00:54:13 ◼ ► just own their own theater chain at that point. - Which is the other piece of this, sure. And then
00:54:18 ◼ ► here's the other thing is long-term, there's also is a hedge for them because if theatrical doesn't
00:54:23 ◼ ► come back or doesn't come back at the level that it was before, which I think is pretty likely.
00:54:31 ◼ ► Which is not to say there isn't money to be made in theatrical, but it allows them to adjust.
00:54:39 ◼ ► And you might end up in that scenario where they're still doing theatrical releases, but they
00:54:43 ◼ ► are smaller budgets than maybe, because they don't expect to make a billion dollars on them. Or maybe
00:54:48 ◼ ► they do. They can go any which way here because if this is all set up and working correctly,
00:54:53 ◼ ► Disney is going to have all the money from theatrical and all the money from Disney Plus
00:54:57 ◼ ► and have these two different businesses. Also knowing that the theatrical is going to reference
00:55:03 ◼ ► a lot of their content on Disney Plus and then it's going to go to Disney Plus. And right,
00:55:16 ◼ ► This episode is also brought to you by Bombas. Maybe you haven't always thought of socks as the
00:55:22 ◼ ► perfect gift or the perfect way to give back, but Bombas socks were literally made to give.
00:55:27 ◼ ► When you give a pair of super comfortable Bombas socks, you're not only giving a gift to someone
00:55:32 ◼ ► that you love and it's something that they're going to love, you're also donating a specially
00:55:46 ◼ ► are the number one most requested clothing item in homeless shelters, the generosity of giving
00:55:51 ◼ ► Bombas will make a meaningful impact this holiday season. Bombas are specially engineered to be the
00:55:58 ◼ ► most comfortable pair of socks you and everyone on your gift list has ever worn. They spent years
00:56:03 ◼ ► perfecting every detail like eliminating those annoying toe seams, making sure that the socks
00:56:08 ◼ ► never slip and creating a special midfoot support system. There are tons of different colors of
00:56:14 ◼ ► styles to choose from, including athletic performance socks, limited edition holiday socks,
00:56:18 ◼ ► dress socks and socks made from merino wool. The generosity of Bombas customers has allowed them
00:56:24 ◼ ► to donate over 40 million pairs of socks and counting through their nationwide network of more
00:56:29 ◼ ► than 3000 giving partners. And if you or anyone you give them to aren't happy with them, you just
00:56:35 ◼ ► reach out to their customer happiness team who will issue an exchange or refund. Let me tell you
00:56:40 ◼ ► about Bombas socks. This is one of those things where you think maybe that you don't care
00:57:08 ◼ ► socks. They are so, so comfortable. My personal favorites are their ankle socks that you could
00:57:20 ◼ ► No one comes close. I would always have to wear like two pairs of socks if I, you know,
00:57:28 ◼ ► like in those like the shorter socks to make sure that my shoes didn't rub or whatever.
00:57:41 ◼ ► They were made to give. Go to bombas.com/upgrade today and get 20% off your first order. That's
00:57:56 ◼ ► for their support of this show and Relay FM. Socks. People. Love. Socks. Get some for yourself.
00:58:06 ◼ ► All right. So let's continue this train and talk about Apple TV killing the Gawker show.
00:58:19 ◼ ► Listeners of this show may remember us talking about this show when it got commissioned a while
00:58:25 ◼ ► back. The show was going to be called Scraper. It was being co-created by some ex editors at Gawker
00:58:33 ◼ ► with the premise being a show about a news organization just like it. And they were actually
00:58:38 ◼ ► going to use things from Gawker's past for stories. Cause I remember us joking about like,
00:58:44 ◼ ► are they going to do something about the iPhone 4? Yeah. And Tim Cook sadly doesn't listen to us,
00:58:54 ◼ ► the creator of this show is Cord Jefferson, who is a, an Emmy winning writer of among other TV shows,
00:59:03 ◼ ► Master of None, The Good Place and Watchmen. So Cord Jefferson, very talented person in his
00:59:13 ◼ ► post Gawker career as a professional television creator. And this was his first, I think his first
00:59:19 ◼ ► series that he has created personally. Um, but, uh, apparently it's not going to run on Apple TV
00:59:27 ◼ ► plus after all. So the story goes that Tim Cook personally canceled the project after being quote
00:59:34 ◼ ► from the New York Times article, surprised to learn that his company was making a show about
00:59:38 ◼ ► Gawker, which had humiliated the company at various times and famously outed him back in 2008 as gay.
00:59:51 ◼ ► whose name is Lane Eskridge has left the company. Um, and so let's, let's talk about this now,
00:59:58 ◼ ► cause there's another part of this, which I want to get into in a minute, but let's, let's pause
01:00:01 ◼ ► here and have a little discussion about what's going on here. So can we talk about bad management,
01:00:06 ◼ ► like what not to do in an organization? Yeah. Okay. Go on. Cause I feel like that's the number
01:00:12 ◼ ► one thing I have to say about this, which is who, who greenlighted this and who got all of these
01:00:24 ◼ ► scripts written when, okay, like it's not a good look that this all got approved and then it bubbled
01:00:34 ◼ ► up to the CEO and then he killed it because this is the kind of thing that you, you check, right?
01:00:43 ◼ ► Like this is the kind of thing that somebody needs to have a clue about this Gawker project and say,
01:00:48 ◼ ► you know, Apple has a fraught history with Gawker. Maybe we should talk and make sure everybody's in
01:00:55 ◼ ► alignment on this. We'll use some corporate speak here. Let's make sure we get alignment on this
01:01:00 ◼ ► from the top, from Eddie and Tim, that what the show is and what it's going to be like and whether,
01:01:07 ◼ ► whether we're comfortable saying yes to this. And it's possible, you know, I mean, obviously it got
01:01:12 ◼ ► there eventually, but it seems a little, I have a question about like why it got to this point.
01:01:19 ◼ ► It feels from the piece in the New York times, like Apple said yes. And then it said no. And
01:01:25 ◼ ► that's the part that I think there's a disconnect there. And then this, this development executive
01:01:37 ◼ ► was sort of like hidden, which is bad and would be a reason why somebody might leave the company when
01:01:42 ◼ ► it was discovered. Or the alternate view is this was disclosed and everybody said it was fine. And
01:01:49 ◼ ► then all of a sudden the CEO said no, and they had to unwind the whole thing. And the person who got
01:01:55 ◼ ► all the approvals and got this show in development saw it all taken away because of a Fiat from the
01:02:02 ◼ ► top. I guess what I'm saying is at least as it's depicted in the New York times, I have questions
01:02:07 ◼ ► about Apple and why it happened like this, because you should not ever have a situation where you
01:02:16 ◼ ► approve something and pay money and get it going. And then later the CEO comes in and says,
01:02:23 ◼ ► no, get rid of it. I want it gone. Like ideally you should run it by the CEO. If you should be
01:02:29 ◼ ► smart enough to know that this is going to be controversial, run it by everybody, get everybody
01:02:33 ◼ ► to approve it in advance and then go with it. And that seems to not have happened there. So on a
01:02:37 ◼ ► fundamental level, I'd say it makes Apple look bad just because, you know, what are they doing? It
01:02:43 ◼ ► makes it seem like Tim Cook is, you know, reading scripts and approving things again, which is a
01:02:48 ◼ ► story we've heard before. And the way you avoid that is by getting everybody clear. We're going
01:02:53 ◼ ► to make this right. Okay. Everybody's okay with it. We're going to make this show. And apparently
01:02:59 ◼ ► that didn't happen. So I didn't grab, I didn't get this from the article. Maybe you did. Do you have
01:03:06 ◼ ► a sense of a timeline here? Like how long was this show in development at Apple before it was canned?
01:03:12 ◼ ► I don't know. And, and the Ben Smith story doesn't tell me the impression I get is long enough for
01:03:18 ◼ ► them to put in an order for multiple scripts, which I don't know if I don't know whether they bought
01:03:25 ◼ ► based on the pitch, they bought a whole season's worth of scripts before they put it in production
01:03:34 ◼ ► saw the scripts and didn't like it and they killed it. It's unclear to me how deep they went in this
01:03:39 ◼ ► process. Cause it is possible that what they were pitched, they liked. And then they saw the scripts
01:03:46 ◼ ► and said, Oh no, no, this is not what we were pitched. It's possible. That's what it is. I,
01:03:50 ◼ ► that story doesn't suggest that that's what it is, but it's possible that that's what it is.
01:03:54 ◼ ► Cause the other potential timeline that I'm thinking here is, uh, an executive said, yes,
01:04:00 ◼ ► it got out in the press. Tim saw it and said, what the hell is this? Kill that. And this was months
01:04:06 ◼ ► ago. But now the cause has cause now this mood, this, this show is now back on the market again.
01:04:14 ◼ ► Now that wouldn't happen immediately. There would be a period of time. So they may have negotiated
01:04:19 ◼ ► a payout and an exit and a, and perhaps even a waiting period. It's possible. That's possible.
01:04:24 ◼ ► The problem is from this report, we don't really know. It looks like it looks bad for Apple. And
01:04:30 ◼ ► I'd say it looks bad for an Apple and a gang who couldn't shoot straight kind of way, but it's
01:04:33 ◼ ► possible that that's not what happened. That the time sequence is different. I I'll bring up at
01:04:37 ◼ ► this point, a couple of tweets from Myke Schur, who is the creator, the good place and parks and
01:04:42 ◼ ► recreation and Brooklyn nine nine and has worked on the office and is a, one of the great comedy
01:04:54 ◼ ► and he tweeted not, not knowing it seems much about this project. He's got his own stuff that
01:05:02 ◼ ► he's working on, but his comment was, I know Tim Cook has a personal grudge against Gawker,
01:05:07 ◼ ► but killing the show only really makes sense in that context. If it was going to be a one-sided
01:05:12 ◼ ► unnuanced hagiography of the site and the people who ran it. And given what I know of cord,
01:05:18 ◼ ► I doubt that is what he had in mind. There have been TV shows about sociopathic mobsters,
01:05:24 ◼ ► serial killers, corrupt law firms, and diabolical politicians. Succession is about the Murdochs.
01:05:29 ◼ ► The crown is about the actual British Royal family. You cannot assume what the show was
01:05:39 ◼ ► And I, I think that's an interesting point, which is, I think there's an assumption among
01:05:46 ◼ ► some people that Gawker was awful and sucked and did a lot of bad stuff and then was killed by a
01:05:54 ◼ ► billionaire, by the way. So there's, it is a nuanced story, right? Like I, I have lots of
01:06:01 ◼ ► negative thoughts about a lot of what Gawker and Gawker's spin-offs did. I also have positive
01:06:06 ◼ ► thoughts about some of what Gawker did. And I also have thoughts about the fact that they angered the
01:06:12 ◼ ► wrong person and got destroyed because of it. I think there's a lot of really interesting stuff
01:06:16 ◼ ► there. And as Myke Schur points out, that actually sounds like kind of potentially a great TV show
01:06:22 ◼ ► and not one that makes the people who were their saints, which is why the framing of this
01:06:30 ◼ ► as Tim Cook called, and he doesn't want to make a show about Gawker because they're mean,
01:06:53 ◼ ► argument, right? Where there is this like, and I'm not saying that this is what you're saying or
01:07:01 ◼ ► Myke Schur saying, but there are people saying this that maybe he just doesn't want it made. And
01:07:06 ◼ ► like that's, I think that's fine. Like just because they don't want it made doesn't mean it won't get
01:07:11 ◼ ► made, but not everything has to be for everyone in every place. It depends on the man. And like,
01:07:17 ◼ ► again, and we don't know exactly how it goes. It goes down here. If it goes down as described,
01:07:21 ◼ ► the problem with it is you're a creative person in Hollywood and you've got something to say,
01:07:30 ◼ ► and you get set up to do this show and you start, you hire a writing staff and you start going on
01:07:36 ◼ ► scripts and you get six scripts in. And then all of a sudden, again, this is just one scenario.
01:07:41 ◼ ► You get the word that basically Tim decided he doesn't like it. It's dead. And that is going to
01:07:48 ◼ ► make it hard for your creative executives at Apple TV+ to make deals with talented people.
01:07:56 ◼ ► If the perception is that the whims of a computer executive in Cupertino are going to determine
01:08:03 ◼ ► whether your show lives or dies, even after you've made the deal and everybody in the room agreed
01:08:08 ◼ ► that it's great. Okay, but I understand that. But okay, but then we're looking at where we are right
01:08:13 ◼ ► now, right? You've got the guy who come up with the DVD company. You've got the guy who runs the
01:08:19 ◼ ► theme parks. You've got the AT&T guy, right? Like this is just the landscape now. Okay. And Ben
01:08:27 ◼ ► Smith makes this point. I think the challenge is, and you're right, no company needs to make
01:08:34 ◼ ► a show they don't want, right? And there are other places you can shop it and it is commerce.
01:08:38 ◼ ► It's art, but it's also commerce. I get all of that. I guess my issue is, what you don't want
01:08:46 ◼ ► is to seem capricious because you've got executives who are going to have opinions and they're going
01:08:50 ◼ ► to swoop in at the last minute. If you're one of the creators who is a great, in this case,
01:08:55 ◼ ► Cord Jefferson, Emmy-winning writer, really well thought of, this is his first show. And as Myke
01:09:00 ◼ ► Schur pointed out on Twitter, wouldn't you want as a streaming service to have that be one of your
01:09:05 ◼ ► shows, to be the show from this guy? And wouldn't you want that? The challenge is not do they have
01:09:13 ◼ ► the right to do it to me. It's do you get a reputation that there's some random chance that
01:09:18 ◼ ► somebody somewhere is going to just swoop in and kill your show? And that's the way it's portrayed
01:09:24 ◼ ► in the Times article. It's not necessarily what happened here. We've seen before the expensive
01:09:28 ◼ ► NBC example where somebody got kicked off of a show and was really bitter about it and leaked,
01:09:34 ◼ ► for those who don't remember, to the Hollywood press that Apple TV's content was a joke. It was
01:09:39 ◼ ► all going to be family friendly. It was going to be like an NBC level of standards and practices,
01:09:44 ◼ ► but with a lot of money behind it. And it turned out to not be true and that that was sour grapes
01:09:48 ◼ ► from somebody who was working on a show. My theory is amazing stories that got recast with a different
01:09:54 ◼ ► target audience but was not reflective of Apple's slate as a whole or Apple's rules as a whole,
01:09:59 ◼ ► and they extrapolated because they wanted to make trouble because they were unhappy with what had
01:10:04 ◼ ► happened with their show that they had previously been working on. So we got to remember that this
01:10:10 ◼ ► information may be coming out of people who are, and almost certainly is coming out of people who
01:10:16 ◼ ► are angry that Apple cut this show and that they have to shop it around again. But again,
01:10:22 ◼ ► John Stanky or any of these like CEO types, the difference is there are no rumors that John Stanky
01:10:51 ◼ ► - Right, so the challenge for Apple is people like to write these stories and there's just more of a
01:10:56 ◼ ► vibe that Apple is a weird control freak company, which I saw a comment on Twitter from a friend
01:11:00 ◼ ► of mine last night that said, "This is really bad for Apple's, like the way it views itself
01:11:05 ◼ ► and the way it sells itself." And I'm like, I don't know, control freak? That kind of sounds
01:11:10 ◼ ► like Apple to me actually. But this is the thing is, I think the bad thing for Apple here is,
01:11:18 ◼ ► do they get a bad reputation? And do they not get stuff brought to them? Because remember the story
01:11:23 ◼ ► with Quibi was that everything that got brought to Quibi was everybody's second rate material
01:11:27 ◼ ► because they had tried to sell it everywhere else and failed and so they brought it to Quibi.
01:11:31 ◼ ► Apple doesn't want to get, Apple wants prestige projects and they want to reassure creators
01:11:36 ◼ ► that they want to be in business with them and when they give them their word that it stands for
01:11:42 ◼ ► something. And that's the danger in this story is that it could potentially have a chilling effect
01:11:49 ◼ ► on future Apple TV content deals, not that it's going to hurt Apple's bottom line. And Ben Smith's
01:11:55 ◼ ► argument in the Times is really more like, these are all enormous corporations with powerful CEOs,
01:12:04 ◼ ► corporations. I think that he overstates that a little bit. But the point is, yeah, they're big
01:12:09 ◼ ► media companies and they're going to decide what they want to do and they're going to set rules.
01:12:13 ◼ ► And if you're Apple and you have a huge phone business in China, you're going to say, "Maybe
01:12:18 ◼ ► we don't make a TV show about the Dalai Lama." And we can all grumble about that and we can all
01:12:24 ◼ ► debate that, but it's their money and I get why from a business standpoint they would say, "We're
01:12:29 ◼ ► not going to do that." I think the bigger issue and why you wouldn't bring that show to Apple TV,
01:12:33 ◼ ► the bigger issue is if Apple says, "Yes, this is a show we want to do." And then six months later,
01:12:38 ◼ ► the CEO has a brainwave and your show gets killed because that's not going to make people want to
01:12:43 ◼ ► work for Apple. Yeah, the Apple part was, Eddie Q, this is a quote, has told partners that the
01:12:50 ◼ ► two things we will never do are hardcore nudity in China. And just to be clear, and China, not
01:12:58 ◼ ► just hardcore nudity is fine, but not in China, it's actually China in general and hardcore nudity
01:13:06 ◼ ► in general, which is a far cry from expensive NBC. And we've seen that. We've seen that with what
01:13:11 ◼ ► they've done. There's plenty of strong language and sexual content and all sorts of stuff on Apple
01:13:16 ◼ ► TV's thing. So I guess this is, I don't know, it is a black guy to Apple, but again, I feel like
01:13:25 ◼ ► the real story here is not the black guy to Apple for having standards about what it wants on its
01:13:33 ◼ ► platform, because of course it does. So does Disney, so does AT&T, so does everybody, so does
01:13:40 ◼ ► Netflix, so does Amazon, right? All of these companies are enormously powerful companies,
01:13:45 ◼ ► which is sort of Ben Smith's point in the times, and they all have other rationales. And television
01:13:55 ◼ ► is, as you said, it is commercial art. It is a business. It is art, but it is also a business.
01:14:04 ◼ ► And are we surprised that the giant businesses that run it have stuff that they don't want on
01:14:10 ◼ ► their show and on their air or on their stream and stuff that they are okay with? It's not surprising.
01:14:17 ◼ ► I think it's good to be informed of it, but it's not surprising. I think the long-term deleterious
01:14:22 ◼ ► effects of this are more fear that Apple is a bad partner for me to bring my show to as a
01:14:32 ◼ ► great high-powered creator. - Yeah. I wonder about the balance on that though, Jason. Like,
01:14:42 ◼ ► - Well, I know. That's the thing, and that's what makes us, I think, bring up expensive NBC, right?
01:14:50 ◼ ► Because that was a case where you were trying to kind of tar Apple with this brush, and it didn't
01:14:58 ◼ ► seem to take. And I would think that the word of mouth of people who had a good experience with
01:15:04 ◼ ► Apple would also be spreading in Hollywood. Like, if they are good to work with, that people would
01:15:09 ◼ ► say, "Yeah, they were great to work with. It wasn't a problem. We didn't have a problem with it."
01:15:13 ◼ ► And if they're not, by the way, if they're bad to work with, then that spreads too, and then people
01:15:19 ◼ ► don't go to Apple for their projects if they can help it. So I think that's all. Yeah, I don't know.
01:15:25 ◼ ► It's a weird story, and I think it's entirely possible that in the end what's going to come
01:15:31 ◼ ► out is that we're going to realize this is very much like the expensive NBC thing, where there
01:15:35 ◼ ► are sour grapes and there's more to the story, and we may or may not ever hear more of the story.
01:15:39 ◼ ► And I kind of hope that's the case, because the alternative really is that Apple mismanaged this,
01:15:47 ◼ ► and you shouldn't ever be in a situation as a creative executive at Apple TV+, honestly,
01:15:54 ◼ ► where you can be fully behind a project and then have it yanked out from under you by a higher-up
01:15:59 ◼ ► in Cupertino. And it doesn't mean they don't have the power. It means you need to manage up,
01:16:04 ◼ ► and you need to manage expectations, and you need to communicate with Eddie and with Tim
01:16:08 ◼ ► that this is the show we're doing. Do you have a problem with this? And if this isn't just sour
01:16:14 ◼ ► grapes, it's a sign of somebody making a big mistake in the chain of command at Apple to say
01:16:23 ◼ ► yes and then say no, because nothing is more infuriating if you're making business deals
01:16:29 ◼ ► than to get a firm yes and then have it walked back a few weeks later. I find this an interesting
01:16:34 ◼ ► story. I think that it's a very shades of gray story. It really does remind me of the expensive
01:16:42 ◼ ► NBC part in that there were things in that report that were worth taking away. The same here, but
01:16:49 ◼ ► I think a lot of the conversation I've seen around it I just think are idealistic viewpoints from
01:16:57 ◼ ► people that like, oh, because it's art, it must be made, and so it must be funded, and executives
01:17:04 ◼ ► must stay out of the way. It's like, I'm sorry, this is not how commercial art is made. People
01:17:10 ◼ ► have to pay for it. Someone has to make the decision, and if you're paying for it, I'm afraid
01:17:16 ◼ ► you kind of do get a say if you want one, right? That's just the way this type of content is made.
01:17:24 ◼ ► And it's entirely possible, by the way, that this was not Tim Cook being involved at all,
01:17:29 ◼ ► but a producer, somebody inside Apple TV, seeing the scripts and saying this isn't what we agreed
01:17:38 ◼ ► to, and this is a company that's been burned by Gawker all these times, and you seem to be
01:17:43 ◼ ► applauding them here, and maybe the creators say, well, no, that's not what we're doing,
01:17:47 ◼ ► and they're like, no, we didn't agree to this, uh, you know, and that gets relayed to a writer
01:17:52 ◼ ► on the staff as Tim Cook didn't like it, so we got killed, but it might actually be, I hate to say
01:17:57 ◼ ► creative differences, but it might actually be that. We don't know what that is, but you're right.
01:18:08 ◼ ► and as a creator, you have to navigate that, and I think it's a shame because just in describing
01:18:14 ◼ ► the history of Gawker, which again, a company that I don't really have a lot of love for,
01:18:18 ◼ ► that's a great story. I could see there being an amazing show about the trials and tribulations
01:18:28 ◼ ► from the very unlikely founder to a lot of the people who worked there, including some people
01:18:33 ◼ ► who did some great work and some people who did some really kind of awful things, and then they
01:18:37 ◼ ► got destroyed by a rogue billionaire, like, and a wrestling star, like, there's an amazing story.
01:18:45 ◼ ► See, because I actually do want a movie or TV show made about that literal thing, because it's so
01:18:51 ◼ ► fascinating to me. But I could see Apple looking at the scripts and saying, this isn't us.
01:18:57 ◼ ► Because I could imagine there being a thing like, just this being like, this is celebrating a bad
01:19:05 ◼ ► thing, like something we think that is bad. And they might have even said, oh, yeah, you know,
01:19:12 ◼ ► I get your arc here. It's sort of like succession or something like that. But these early days,
01:19:17 ◼ ► yeah, it's not really for us. It's not really working for us. And having it literally be
01:19:21 ◼ ► a creative decision that gets spun as a decision about Tim Cook being angry that he was outed
01:19:27 ◼ ► by Ryan Tate. But I don't think that's necessarily the case. And we don't know. Well, you know,
01:19:34 ◼ ► we don't know. It's hard to say. If that is the case, that's bad management on Apple's part,
01:19:39 ◼ ► and they shouldn't do, they should get their ducks in a row before they make deals with
01:19:52 ◼ ► Bad actors threaten your business with spam and viruses, and they're even more sophisticated in
01:19:57 ◼ ► 2020 because email traffic has tripled because companies are increasing the number of employees
01:20:02 ◼ ► that they have working from home on residential networks. And as admins look to mitigate
01:20:07 ◼ ► associated risks to their businesses, your biggest vulnerability is probably your email.
01:20:12 ◼ ► And this is where MailRoute can help. Because when it comes to handling business email,
01:20:21 ◼ ► and a streamlined workflow. And this is what MailRoute is all about. Their team was the first
01:20:26 ◼ ► to build an email filtering service way back in 1997. And they have been focused exclusively on
01:20:32 ◼ ► email security for 23 years. MailRoute is the only service to provide one-click sync with both
01:20:39 ◼ ► Office 365 and G Suite for simple and safe migration. Their API-level integration ports
01:20:44 ◼ ► your data from 365 directly into MailRoute, so there is no need to duplicate your workload
01:20:50 ◼ ► to activate this protection. MailRoute also meets federal compliance standards, including NIST 800-171
01:20:57 ◼ ► for Department of Defense contractors. Admins enjoy real-time log searches, real-time reporting
01:21:03 ◼ ► as well in their custom dashboard, which also includes granular controls to stop spam, fishing
01:21:08 ◼ ► attempts, viruses, ransomware, malware, and so much more. So go and try MailRoute today and get
01:21:15 ◼ ► 10% off the lifetime of your account by going to mailroute.net/upgrade. You can even get a 30-day
01:21:23 ◼ ► free trial with no credit card required. Just go to mailroute.net/upgrade to start protecting
01:21:29 ◼ ► your business today. MailRoute, making email better. Our thanks to MailRoute for their support
01:21:34 ◼ ► of this show and Relay FM. So we're running long today and we're going to do our double ask upgrade
01:21:41 ◼ ► next time, so I'm going to be saving some questions, but don't forget to send in your holiday-themed
01:21:45 ◼ ► ask upgrade questions. We're actually going to start today talking about a new product that
01:21:49 ◼ ► neither of us have, AirPods Max. This is kind of funny. AirPods Max is like a, it's like almost
01:21:57 ◼ ► like a doomed upgrade product because we knew something was going to happen, right? And that
01:22:04 ◼ ► was on last week's show and then it came out on Tuesday, the day before. And now we know what
01:22:10 ◼ ► these things are and I don't know about you, but I'm getting some some point this week, but I don't
01:22:15 ◼ ► have them right now. So you don't need to know about me. I don't, I don't use over-ear headphones
01:22:20 ◼ ► and there's never been a product that I am less fit for. I do. I hate over-ear headphones.
01:22:26 ◼ ► Sweaty ears. Yeah, sweaty ears. That's right. Now, we spoke about this last week. I feel like,
01:22:32 ◼ ► I don't remember if I predicted that this is what was going to be the product, but it was what I
01:22:37 ◼ ► most thought would be the product if Apple released anything this year was the over-ear headphones.
01:22:42 ◼ ► It seemed like the most logical to me. If you do want to hear actually from people that have
01:22:49 ◼ ► used these products, I recommend the most recent episode of the talk show with John Gruber and Matt
01:22:54 ◼ ► Pansarino. They both have them. They spoke about them for like an hour. It's really, it's a really
01:22:58 ◼ ► good episode of the talk show. I recommend it. But what I want to know though, Jason, is even
01:23:03 ◼ ► though you're a person who will not own or use this product themselves, I do know that you're
01:23:09 ◼ ► obviously a person with impressions and with opinions. And I wanted to know three things from
01:23:15 ◼ ► you. I want to know what you think of the design, what you think of the overall kind of feature set
01:23:20 ◼ ► that Apple is offering and the price. Again, we might, we're going to touch on these next week
01:23:25 ◼ ► because I will have had some time to use them. But I want to get kind of like your feelings on these,
01:23:30 ◼ ► especially the pricing stuff. I wrote a piece that I've been meaning to write for a while on
01:23:35 ◼ ► Macworld this week or last week about pricing in general and listeners to upgrade will nod along
01:23:40 ◼ ► because you've heard me play these songs before about how Apple, you know, always imagine the
01:23:46 ◼ ► price that you want to pay and then raise it painfully and then raise it some more and that's
01:23:50 ◼ ► the price. And this is, boy, this is that, right? $5.49 for a pair of over-ear headphones is a lot
01:23:55 ◼ ► of money. But Apple priced it that way thinking that, first off, they've sold out basically
01:24:02 ◼ ► through next year. So whatever they had made... - Yeah, it's like some of them, like March is
01:24:07 ◼ ► the oldest you can get them. - Yeah. So they priced it that way, possibly knowing how many they had to
01:24:12 ◼ ► sell and thinking, and clearly they sold them all. So they're doing pretty well at that price and
01:24:19 ◼ ► you might not like it or even find it valuable at that price. But I think they priced it pretty well
01:24:24 ◼ ► because you have to add in all the Apple stuff, right? It's like, yeah, they're more expensive
01:24:28 ◼ ► than Bose or Sony headphones, but it's got the Apple wireless stuff that's so nice. And it's got,
01:24:36 ◼ ► I don't know, it's got Apple's design and it's got that look and you can buy it in an Apple store and
01:24:42 ◼ ► it works great with all the... It's got spatial audio and it'll switch between your devices. And
01:24:46 ◼ ► if you're in the Apple ecosystem and you're buying things at an Apple store and all those things,
01:24:51 ◼ ► you're like, "Oh, okay, I'll just buy these." And not everybody will do that, but will enough people
01:24:55 ◼ ► do that to make it worth it for them? And I think that's true. That's why Apple sells expensive
01:25:01 ◼ ► versions of things that other people sell for less is because they're Apple and they can charge more
01:25:06 ◼ ► and they'll make more. This is why there are cheap Apple iPhone cases on Amazon and people buy the
01:25:13 ◼ ► Apple cases that are way more expensive. It's the same thing. It's the same principle. And I get
01:25:19 ◼ ► that some people like that and some people hate that, but I think that's what's going on here.
01:25:25 ◼ ► In terms of the design, I don't even know how to judge it. They look nice because they got aluminum
01:25:29 ◼ ► and they've got the little... They got colors, which makes me happy. And there were rumors...
01:25:56 ◼ ► so they can't kind of come off. And the other thing that's interesting is he said that they
01:26:01 ◼ ► were trying to build a touch screen version or a touch version, not touch, touch pad version,
01:26:05 ◼ ► basically, touch controls. And that didn't work out. And so there are physical buttons. There's
01:26:10 ◼ ► a button and a digital crown. And I don't know what to think about that because if they were
01:26:18 ◼ ► going to do touch controls and then they ended up not and they did this, I feel like they dodged a
01:26:22 ◼ ► bullet there because I have tried headphones with touch controls, like big over-ear headphones with
01:26:28 ◼ ► touch controls. And I hate them. I hate them. Like a touch surface on the side of your head.
01:26:43 ◼ ► that's what it should be. It's a little dial like the digital crown. So I like that they used
01:26:50 ◼ ► physical buttons in this product and I hope they keep using them because I don't think learning a
01:26:56 ◼ ► whole bunch of gestures and tapping the side of your head is great. I didn't really love it with
01:27:08 ◼ ► I think-- -We had to use the crown though, really. Seeing it out of context, like out of its usual
01:27:12 ◼ ► context, it looks peculiar to me. -Yeah, but I like it. I think it's a good move. In the end,
01:27:16 ◼ ► it's just a dial. But it is obviously from the digital crown collection. They brought it over.
01:27:24 ◼ ► I don't know. And then otherwise, I just want to listen to people who know about this stuff tell me
01:27:30 ◼ ► how good it is and whether they feel it's worth it to them because this is a category that I don't
01:27:41 ◼ ► quite frankly. So beyond that, I don't really have anything more to say. Plus to colors and
01:27:46 ◼ ► I understand why they priced it this way. And if they priced it wrong, they'll find out and they'll
01:27:52 ◼ ► change the price. Although I will say something I mentioned in that article. I mentioned the fact
01:27:57 ◼ ► that modern Apple, the last couple of years, overpriced their products so that they can market
01:28:02 ◼ ► them. It used to be the price was the price and that's not true anymore. I know we've talked about
01:28:06 ◼ ► it here, but it's that my examples of the 1099 MacBook Air that you could always find for 999.
01:28:11 ◼ ► And I think that that will be the case with these headphones too. I would be shocked if sometime
01:28:16 ◼ ► next year you couldn't find them on Amazon for 499 or 479 and people will be like, Oh my God,
01:28:21 ◼ ► go get them. It's such a great deal. Not, you know, and not even realize that they're still
01:28:26 ◼ ► paying $500 for that set of headphones, even though it's $49 off. I think stuff like that
01:28:30 ◼ ► will happen because that's sort of part of what Apple does now is market their products by leaving
01:28:35 ◼ ► enough room for them to have deals in various online stores. I am very intrigued by them.
01:28:44 ◼ ► I love my AirPods Pro and I'm intrigued by a pair of headphones that have similar technology.
01:28:52 ◼ ► That's just why I have ordered a pair. The price is like, it's high, but I wasn't surprised.
01:29:03 ◼ ► If that makes sense. I would never pick this number, but it also doesn't surprise me for
01:29:07 ◼ ► all of the things that you've said. It's just like, yeah, of course, in a way. And it's one
01:29:13 ◼ ► of those things where it's like, okay, they are that price. They are very expensive, you know,
01:29:17 ◼ ► like it's more expensive than a PlayStation. Like it's a lot of money, but you also can't buy them.
01:29:22 ◼ ► And sometimes that's the best kind of marketing because now AirPods Max, they are a hype product.
01:29:37 ◼ ► but it's like, you know, it's the Wii U thing, right? If something is out of stock, I mean,
01:29:43 ◼ ► honestly, we're seeing it right now. All the graphics cards, you can't buy them. All the
01:29:59 ◼ ► cultural significance of AirPods. That's why they're called AirPods Max, even though really,
01:30:06 ◼ ► really this should be its own name. Like HomePod is its own name because everything that would be
01:30:13 ◼ ► like, they're not like AirPods. It's AirPods. They don't really share, all they share is the
01:30:17 ◼ ► technology inside. It's like AirPods are little things, right? Like you put this big thing on
01:30:23 ◼ ► your head, this is my AirPod. It doesn't track, I don't think. Which is why we always gave it the
01:30:29 ◼ ► jokey name like HeadPods or whatever, right? But... Which apparently was the code name because
01:30:35 ◼ ► there's some of our friends who are the code spelunkers found out that it actually is called
01:30:39 ◼ ► HeadPods in some of the code. Yeah. But I just think, you know, AirPods, especially AirPods Max,
01:30:46 ◼ ► it's like, I know why you named it that. Like I get it. Like I get it. It was the right name for
01:30:51 ◼ ► the product from a marketing perspective, but it's just like a funny name to me. I am very intrigued
01:30:57 ◼ ► by them as a thing. I hope that they are as good a pair of headphones as AirPods Pro or earphones.
01:31:07 ◼ ► And I will follow up on that next week. So as we mentioned earlier, next week's episode is our
01:31:13 ◼ ► upgrade holiday special. So make sure that you go and watch a Charlie Brown Christmas special
01:31:17 ◼ ► on Apple TV Plus. You can go and watch that. We're going to be talking about it next time.
01:31:23 ◼ ► And please, if you have any holiday themed Ask Upgrade questions, send them in to us over Twitter
01:31:28 ◼ ► with the hashtag #AskUpgrade or with question mark Ask Upgrade in the Relay FM members Discord.
01:31:37 ◼ ► with Upgrade Plus. If you go to getupgradeplus.com, you can sign up. We give great content for you
01:31:44 ◼ ► every week and no ads as well. So if you want an ad free episode of Upgrade every single week with
01:31:49 ◼ ► bonus content, you can go and get that. This time in Upgrade Plus, we talk a little bit about
01:31:56 ◼ ► keyboards and what it's like for the two of us to write. So that is some additional, but it's a lot
01:32:02 ◼ ► of behind the scenes stuff, sometimes some extra stuff. It's always really fun in Upgrade Plus.
01:32:07 ◼ ► So go to getupgradeplus.com. I would like to thank Mail Route, Bombas and ExpressVPN for their support
01:32:13 ◼ ► of this show. Of course, thank you for listening. If you want to find Jason online, go to sixcolors.com
01:32:19 ◼ ► and he is @jsnell. I am @imike and we'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye Jason Snell.